In Part 1 we explored why self-care is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Why this means have a disciplined practice, a plan, that will ensure you take action. We explored the five key areas of health and wellbeing and in this Part 2 we are going to create a plan across those five areas.
As a reminder, the five areas are: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health.
In each area pick ONE activity for this coming month and set yourself measurable targets to achieve (the best targets are realistic, yet stretch you a little bit, so that you feel really good when you achieve them).
Your plan might look something like this:
|Activity Selected||Goal Set|
(along the beach)
|20 minutes 3 times a week|
|Mental Health||Learn something new||Watch 2 TED talks on a new topic of interest|
|Emotional Health||Gratitude Diary||Write out 3 things at the end of every day I am grateful for|
|Social Health||Connect with a friend||Schedule in a face to face meeting with a friend each week|
|Spiritual Health||Meditation||Set aside time to meditate for at least 10 minutes 3 times a week|
Ensure that you have clear measures and consider:
- Including things that you really enjoy doing (don’t make this a huge chore – build in things that make you smile and come alive)
- How you will reward your disciplined action at the end of the month? What is a gorgeous, healthy reward that you can build in – a massage? A cinema trip? Something that will spur you on when you don’t feel like completing a task.
- To whom will you make yourself accountable? This can be sharing your plan, so someone else checks in on how you are doing, or you could agree a ‘fine’ to someone (or some cause you would not normally support) if you do not stick to your plan. My last fine was $1000 to an accountability buddy if I didn’t do what I committed to. I told him right up front there was no way he was getting the money – and he didn’t! It really made me stick to my commitment.
Have fun and be creative with each area and each month change your plan to keep challenging yourself and keep moving yourself forward towards being your healthiest self.
Just as a quick guide – here are some suggestions in each area:
This might include any number of physical activities such as Walking, Jogging
Bike Riding, Surfing, Skipping, Boxing, Swimming, Water Walking, Take an exercise class (staying healthy is even more fun with a group), do Yoga, Martial Arts or go to the Gym. Or build exercise into your normal daily routine such as: taking the stairs instead of a lift; getting off a bus or train one stop early. Get good advice on nutrition and diet. Think about your microbiome. Ensure you get enough sleep. Avoid excessive alcohol and other drugs.
This list is not exhaustive, but gives you a starting point within the area of physical health to get you started on your journey.
Note: Always seek medical advice if you have health issues, before instigating any new exercise routines.
This is a wide area and may include: learning new things, having a gratitude practice, journaling, mindful colouring. Consciously working to ensure positive thoughts outweigh negative ones. Be mindful about what you focus on and give attention to. Finally, consider disconnecting from technology for a specified period of time to find stillness and quiet.
If you do experience more severe mental health issues, seek support early from therapeutic services that work for you.
There are an unlimited number of ways to enhance emotional health, some of my favourites include: meditation and relaxation techniques, learning to breathe well, floatation pods, soaking in a bath, exploring new mindfulness practices, going out in nature, music, laughter, doing something you love doing, reading a book, taking time to savour positive emotions.
Find simple pleasures that bring your focus on to positive emotions every day.
As human beings we were made to live in community and we need to feel like we belong. So, find ways to really connect with others – and at least some of the time, pick happy people to connect with. Arrange to meet a friend. Join a club or group, find somewhere that you can ‘belong’.
Finally, spiritual health is all about doing work that is important to you. Finding that wider connection to others, to making a difference and reminding yourself that what you do matters. Look for signs of the impact you have in the world and spend time focusing on what is truly important to you.
Health and wellbeing, in the main is a choice. We have to have an intention to deeply, and with discipline, care for ourselves and take action across all 5 areas of health to turn that into reality.
We hope you will create a plan, and update it each month so that you can enjoy embracing your own health and wellbeing. In the words of L’Oreal – you are worth it.
Image credit Stacie Swift https://www.stacieswift.com/